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June 16 – The Lord is a man of war

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems…” – Revelation 19:11-12

Scripture reading: Exodus 15:1-21

Yesterday the title was: The God of Peace. Today, the LORD is a Man of War. It may seem jarring. Know this, peace is not possible until all the enemies of the LORD have been thrown down. Why is the LORD “a man of war”? The word ‘man’ can also be used for a husband. It gives the sense of the LORD as the Bridegroom Who defends His bride, the Church. She is not strong enough to engage in war; she is surrounded by hostile forces and gathered hosts of enemies who hate the LORD.

The context of today’s passage is the LORD’s protection of His people from the army of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. After 400 years of slavery, the LORD delivered His people; they did not even need to raise a single sword in their own defence. After they left Egypt, Pharaoh recanted his submission to the LORD, the Man of War, summoned his army and went after Israel. The LORD would not let His people be harmed. He is the Man of War, Who brings His people to salvation and peace.

In Revelation, Jesus is depicted as seated on the white horse. He judges and makes war. He will reign until all the enemies of God are conquered. There will be no throne, power, person or demon that can resist Him. He does this for the glory of God. He makes way for the new heaven and the new earth, where devils and death will be no more. Blessed be the LORD, the Man of War.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the LORD for His protection; praise Him that He is both strong and loving so that He can conquer His enemies and defend His Bride. Confess the areas in your life that need to be exposed because of sin, so the victory of the Man of War will be known.

Rev. Richard Vander Vaart served as a minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America for over twenty years, before joining the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He is now serving as the Atlantic Region prison-visiting pastor working with Redemption Prison Ministry. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  

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